Many might know him as Karim from the hit comedy series “Kampung People 2”. Haziq Fadhullah, a Kampung Tanjung Bundong lad who had always set his sights to become an actor, details the ups and downs of his journey in pursuing his dream.
Blessed with a second chance
It took almost two years before Sarawak-born actor Haziq Fadhullah finally got a big break, and carved his name in the Malaysian entertainment scene.
The 27-year-old actor shot to fame after starring as the main antagonist named Karim in the latest season of the hit local comedy series ‘Kampung People 2’, broadcasted through the Lestary slot on TV3 recently.
He admitted that the series, directed by Wan Hasliza Wan Zainudin, helped established his name in the industry as he became the crowd-favourite among Malay drama fans across the nation.
“For a newcomer like me who is still looking for a place in the industry, audience acceptance is very important.
“My role in the series had opened their eyes that an ordinary boy from Sarawak has something to offer. Which is my talent,” he said in an exclusive interview with New Sarawak Tribune at The Hills.
From Tanjung Bundong to Universiti Malaya
Haziq, who grew up in Kampung Tanjung Bundong, Kota Samarahan, said he had always dreamed of becoming an actor ever since he was young.
“I always knew that I wanted to be an actor. I remembered that I would dress myself up like a singer whenever I watched entertainment programmes on television and imitate the actions — Akademi Fantasia, and even Bintang Kecil on RTM.
“In school, I was very active and always participated in various performances and competitions. From nasyid to drama and traditional dance competitions, you name it!
“In fact, I would often volunteer to join any performances and activities that was organised by the school,” he added.
As he was raised in a conservative Muslim family, Haziq describes his childhood as very idyllic.
“Interestingly, my father who is a Tabligh (a member of Muslim missionary group who preaches to fellow Muslims to adhere and observe Islamic practice) was rather flexible compared to my mother who was not very supportive when I told them about my wish to become an actor.
“At first, she was not in favour of my choice to take up acting as a career. But Alhamdulillah, now both of them give their blessings. In fact, they are indeed my biggest fan right now!” Haziq gleefully said.
Although it took sometime for his family to accept the decision, what came as a surprise was that he was given a chance to delve into acting as he was accepted for the Performing Arts & Theatre degree programme at the internationally-renowned Universiti Malaya (UM).
“Since then, I never looked back. I worked hard to get the scroll and I finally graduated in 2016,” he said.
Life behind the screen
To people, living life as an artist may appear fun — where fame and glamour would bring luxury and wealth.
However, this is only applicable to someone who had the privilege to do so, he explained.
For people like Haziq — who admitted that he came from a very simple and moderate family — he had to work hard to establish his name as an actor. In two years, he constantly worked his way around to get to know the people in the industry and establish his networks.
“Ever since the first day I came to Kuala Lumpur to further my studies, I was all by myself. That was my first time arriving in the city and my first experience boarding a flight!” he said.
To earn some money, he worked as a waiter and even took up a part time job as a makeup artist, “After I graduated, I did all sorts of odd jobs back then, from carrying props, working as an assistant crew member, to being a driver, escorting the cast and crew.”
Sharing on the most terrifying experience he had gone through while working, Haziq said he nearly lost his sight in 2019.
When asked about the incident, he said that it happened during a fight with another person whom he refused to disclose.
“My left eye was nearly blind, struck by a mobile phone which was thrown at my face,” he said.
He also admitted that his workload left him to suffer insufficient rest and sleepless nights.
To make matters worse, the incident was a major breaking point, as he was diagnosed with depression.
Dealing with the harrowing experience, Haziq revealed that it was a tough time and it badly affected him.
With the current spike of new Covid19 cases in the country, Haziq feels that it that it is important for everyone in the community to reach out.
“At times like this, I feel that we should help those who are affected by the pandemic by giving them support. I know some of us are depressed over losing our source of income, jobs, etc.
“Perhaps, instead of judging, the best we can do is to be a good listener and encourage them to seek treatment from health and medical practitioners,” he stressed.
Haziq managed to overcome his depression, and now seems happier, appreciative and more content with himself and accepted the phase as a part of his journey in life.
A blessing in disguise
Haziq admitted that it never crossed his mind that going through the challenges and hurdles actually paved the way for his career, when opportunity came knocking at his door.
Korban Kasih, a drama series directed by Pali Yahya which was broadcasted during Ramadhan this year on RTM’s TV1 was Haziq’s first debut on TV screen.
“I am grateful to get my sight back. Allah is giving me another opportunity, a second chance I may say, to live my life and appreciate myself as His creation.
“And I always believed that these are all possible because of my parents. Without their prayers and blessings, I don’t think I will make it this far,” the third child of five siblings said.
He also described working with industry’s powehouses like Saharul Ridzwan, Datuk Ahmad Tarmimi Siregar and Dynas Mokhtar in “Korban Kasih”, as well as with Rashidi Ishak, Elly Mazlein, Namron and Datuk Fizz Fairuz in “Kampung People 2” is a dream come true.
“Both series garnered overwhelming feedback. In fact, the series became trending in social media throughout their runs,” he said, adding that he began to receive more job offers after “Kampung People 2”.
Touching on the recent development of the first state-owned TV station, TV Sarawak, Haziq believes that the platform plays a crucial role in promoting the local creative scene to the world.
“As a Sarawak-born artiste, TV Sarawak is definitely a wonderful gift for the people, providing a new platform and more room for the local creative industry to brandish their talents.
“Hopefully, more locals can make use of this opportunity and be given the chance to showcase their ability to the world,” Haziq said.
To “Abang Kerimz” fans out there, to get the latest news and updates on his daily activities, you can follow Haziq on Instagram @buaya_sarawak.